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Business News of Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Source: Daily Guide

ECOWAS seeks support for power sector

Siengui Apollinaire (left) receiving the documents from Ifeyinwa Ikeonu Siengui Apollinaire (left) receiving the documents from Ifeyinwa Ikeonu

Ifeyinwa Ikeonu, Acting Chairperson for the ECOWAS Regional Electricity and Regulatory Authority (ERERA), says her outfit would require huge investment from the private sector as part of measures to kick start cross-border electricity trading among the member states.

According to the ERERA boss, the electricity market, if launched at the end of 2016, would address the twin problem of energy access and energy security in the region.

Mrs Ikeonu, who spoke to journalists when Secretary General for the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) Siengui Apollinaire visited WAPP members in Accra last Friday, said the two institutions had been working closely in the past few years to put in place the immediate framework that would create the ground rules and regulations to govern the market.

WAPP and ERERA are the two key ECOWAS institutions that were established for the development of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Market.

“The good news about this is that we can attract the much-needed private sector investment into the electricity market of West Africa and hopefully this will go a long way in solving the twin problem of energy access and energy security in the region.

“We are hoping that we will be able to attract private sector participation into the regional market and we will also be able to strengthen the utilities in the region to work more efficiently and to ensure that cross-border electricity trading among the member states are encouraged and facilitated in a way that will yield dividend to the ECOWAS region as a whole,” Mrs Ikeonu stated.

She presented three documents that had been approved by ERERA to fast-track the establishment of the electricity market.

“The documents cover the regional market rules, the tariff pricing methodology, as well as the WAPP operational manual. The ground rules have been put in place to ensure that come the end 2016, phase one of the electricity market would be launched,” she added.

The regional market rules also addresses the market design and phases for the regional market and specifies clearly the role of market participants and other stakeholders.

Secretary General of WAPP, Siengui Apollinaire, who was elected in May, disclosed that his visit was aimed at meeting some Ghanaian partners of WAPP like GRIDCO, among others.

“ERERA is a strategic partner of WAPP because it is the body that will regulate the electricity sector in our ECOWAS region. We discussed some issues concerning our work and I have also been given an approved document called the rule of the market,” he said.